Tired of working around the clock for that 9-5 that would replace you in a second?
Maybe you feel like you’re stuck in the job you are and it promises no real growth.
Or you are just fed up making someone else boatloads of money?
Whatever your reason for wanting to start a business is, the outcome can be a rewarding one both financially if done right and feeling like you have a sense of purpose you are working towards.
If this is the first time you are thinking about this though, you probably aren’t entirely sure what it is you want to do in terms of running a business.
And if you’re in that spot, you are most probably on the lookout for all kinds of business ideas that you can turn into a thriving business.
So here is a list of 10 ways to come up with a business idea and how you can help accelerate your inspiration on the path to finding the killer idea 🙂
#1 Do something about what annoys you
Is there something that just gets on your last nerve? Perhaps something you need to buy that feels like it costs the earth or a service you have to make use of that just rubs you up the wrong way. One of the best tells for whether something can be turned into a business idea is when it feels like there is no hope concerning said product/service. Good thing is, there is hope and it can be in the form of how you can improve on that particular item/service. Maybe where items need to be purchased for something like college, you can offer a rental service at a fraction of the cost.
Sometimes a business idea waiting to happen is something that annoys you. Use it as a potential starting point and go from there.
#2 Don’t look at reinventing the wheel
Most of the great ideas that come out these days in terms of new businesses is not brand spanking new ideas/products. Instead, they can be a (slight) improvement on an existing product. Think about it. If there is already a market with that existing product - say an iPhone - a business idea centered around a product to improve the user experience of that device can be just as big a winner.
Take a look at what some of the big names in industries are doing and what they are missing out on and go from there. In other words, search for new niches within already established markets.
And luckily, there are new niches popping up every single day. All you have to do is think outside the box and make sure your idea serves a purpose.
#3 Recycle your skills
Sounds funny but think about it. You have a particular skill set and most likely you are concentrating those skills in a particular field. Why not try putting your skills to use in another way that serves a purpose. If you’re a writer, always concentrated on writing for the marketing field, what would happen if you turn your skills towards another market.
You could be the next greatest children's book author without even knowing it and you could turn your skills to work for you in another direction. There are loads of ways that people with all kinds of skills can refocus their attention to a different sector or towards a different niche, you just have to give it some thought.
#4 Find a market that needs some pep
If you’re struggling to find that killer idea for a business, do some research.
Look at industries that have not really had much innovation in recent years, then put on your thinking cap and find something to create that innovation.
Again, this is not about reinventing the wheel or having to create something from scratch, it can be as simple as making something work better or helping solve another problem that no-one has been able to yet.
#5 Make something that already exists but make it cheaper
Again, we are not talking about creating something from scratch. You need to keep in mind that there are different spending levels of people and that just because a product costs X does not mean everyone can afford it at that price.
By taking something that is used frequently or a popular item, and making a cheaper version of it, you can be catering to a whole untouched market.
But by all means, please do not read cheaper as lower or unsafe quality. This is where you need to be clever about how you bring down the cost of the item. Maybe it involves using a different material or varying the way in which the product is presented but it should always be safe for the market it will serve.
Don’t make the mistake of cutting corners just to make it cheaper, be innovative and think about how to do it the right way.
#6 Conduct some field research
What better way to find out what the market is looking for than to talk to the market?
If you are looking for ways to come up with a business idea, you need to get a feeling for what people are looking for and expecting, that way, you will not only be getting first-hand market research but you will be able to come up with a way to solve whatever issue they may be having.
Maybe you don’t need to talk about what products they’d like to have or what services they need but ask them what frustrates them and look for a pattern over a number of people.
Also, try to stick to a particular niche so that you are talking to a market of the same or at least similar people. For example, if you talk just to moms you may be able to come up with something that can make a mom’s life easier. You will have found a niche and it narrows your scope which helps you zone in on a solution for them and ultimately come up with a business idea.
#7 Make use of your particular skills
This should go without saying but your best starting point is to stick to what you know best.
If you are good with your hands, you are not about to go into creating a solution for accountants or the motor industry…
Also, don’t only concentrate on those skills but reflect on your hobbies or passions because these are something you care deeply about and are interested in. Chances are you able to learn really well when it comes to them so take time to explore that too.
Maybe you are interested in watercolor painting. You never know how that passion can turn into either you offering your skills to help teach others or turning it into some kind of product.
Keep your mind open!
#8 Take your ideas across borders
Look for inspiration and ideas that are working in other countries and see if you can adapt them to your home base.
Chances are, you may need to tweak it a bit to make it work for your country but the good thing is that you can probably do that because you understand your home market and what it would need.
Always look at things that are not being done in your neck of the woods that will either solve a problem or create a new niche market.
The internet is a wonderful place and luckily you don’t need to be fortunate enough to travel to be able to find all the info you would need to be inspired.
#9 Don’t only settle for perfection
Maybe you’ve had some ideas that you were like, “this would work, if…” but then you tossed it aside and continued looking for that perfect idea.
Go back on all those maybe ideas and see what is most executable right now.
Because sometimes those are the ideas that are work in progress and work really well in the end because the develop and grow into something really great.
Things are not always going to go as expected, count on things to develop in their own way and go with it.
#10 Never stop looking
Keep your mind, eyes, and ears open all the time.
Keep a notebook with ideas and review it every so often because you never know when an idea can be as simple as starting a website and getting it off the ground.
Do not limit yourself to thinking you need to have large stacks of cash to get an idea off the ground either because there are loads of things you can find that need solutions that you can offer.
Most of all, never stop looking for ways to improve on things or to make life easier because chances are you will have a few pretty decent ideas. Staying inspired keeps your mind open to discovery always.